N.H. FFs Use Loader in Water Rescue

ROCHESTER, N.H. --

Firefighters rescued a teenager clinging to a tree to escape rapidly rising flood waters in Rochester on Wednesday.

Officials said the 16-year-old was riding his bike across the flooded Rochester Neck Road when he became trapped by the Isinglass River, which overflowed its banks. He was stuck in the tree for more than an hour.

Workers at a nearby business spotted the boy and called 911.

Emergency crews used a front-end loader to help rescue the teen. The loader was borrowed from a nearby Waste Management facility, and rescuers tethered a boat to it. The boat was then towed to the tree, and a firefighter was able to grab the boy.

"The captain, who used to work for Waste Management, knew that they had this big loader there," said Chief Norm Sanborn. "So, he come up with the idea that, let's have the loader come down here. So, working with all our groups, we came up with a plan how we could use the loader and safely go down there."

The unidentified teen appeared shaken and cold as he was brought to dry land by rescuers. He was put on a stretcher and wheeled to an ambulance. He was taken to a hospital, where he was treated for hypothermia.

Police said the boy had a hard time speaking after he was pulled off the tree because he was so cold.

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